Affordable housing funds approved

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Another step toward the construction of a 24-unit affordable housing building in Steinbach took place Tuesday as city councillors approved the direction of just over $1.3 million in grant funding to Steinbach Community Outreach.

The funds come from the province and were given to Steinbach for a project that could meet guidelines for affordable housing.

Steinbach Community Outreach’s proposal was chosen. That will see the construction of a facility at 224 Woodhaven Avenue that will include 12 bachelor suites of 400 sq. ft. and 12 one bedroom suites of 600 sq. ft.

To qualify for a bachelor suite applicants’ income must be less than $23,500 and to get a one bedroom suite income must be below $32,000.

Rent is set at $583 for a bachelor suite and $801 for one bedroom units. Rents also include utilities.

Coun. Jac Siemens made the motion to approve the grant, calling it a “great opportunity for our community”.

“I was very happy that Steinbach Community Outreach came forward with a plan and we accepted that plan,” he said. “Like many communities Steinbach is in short supply of affordable housing.”

The entire project came with an estimated $3.6 million price tag, a cost that Siemens expects has risen since it was estimated in November 2021.

“I think this is a necessity in Steinbach.”

Coun. Michael Zwaagstra seconded the motion and agreed with Siemens.

“We know that there’s a need for more affordable housing in Steinbach for people who have lower incomes,” he said.

Mayor Earl Funk also approved of the project.

“I think it’s really going to fit well in our community,” he said.

Council also passed a resolution to secure a second mortgage from Steinbach Community Outreach because of the conditional nature of the grant. That mortgage will not carry interest and will be reduced by 1/20th of the amount of the mortgage each year until the commitment is fulfilled.

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